Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yarn Along

happiness yarn along

I feel as if I am on the homeward stretch with the hot water bottle cozy, with only one repeat to go before shaping the neck. Then only several inches of ribbing remain. So perhaps not quite on the homeward stretch after all. But it 'feels' like it, so I am going with that.

I'm a third of the way through The Happiness Project and find it interesting and motivating. Gretchen takes principals of happiness and puts them in to practice in her life, then talks openly about the results. A lot of the principals feel well known - sleep more, exercise better, declutter, enjoy now - but it is how she chooses to tackle a list of resolutions each month and her individual experience of them that makes for compelling reading. We all know we should sleep more and exercise better, but what does that look like? How do you achieve that if, in Gretchen's case, you are a mother of two and a writer? What are the results? 

It's difficult not to feel inspired when reading about her experiences. I have had several 'ah-hah!' moments and have been thinking about exactly what brings me happiness. I have been reminding myself of two simple points from the book over the past week, because small changes can make big differences. Firstly, "by doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished." And the "one-minute rule." The first idea strikes a chord with the knitter in me, I know that a little each day can accomplish a lot. A row here and there will eventually make a blanket. But in day to day life I often find myself discouraged at starting a large project when I know that I will soon be interrupted by one, or both, children and won't have achieved much. Rather than feel discouraged I have been reminding myself that every little bit adds up and have changed my outlook. I don't have to organise all the photos on the lap top at once. I can just start sorting them out and come back to it. I don't have to Spring Clean the whole house in one day. I can go room by room, closet by closet, there is no time limit. One day I won't have two lovely little ones wanting my attention, but at the moment it is about finding ways to achieve things that work with our life.

The "one-minute rule" attracts me because a clean house makes me happy. The rule inspires you not to postpone a task that you can get done in less than a minute. Gretchen writes, "I put away my umbrella; I filed a document; I put the newspapers in the recycling bin; I closed the cabinet door. These steps took just a few moments, but the cumulative impact was impressive." I agree. It's the main task when tidying just putting things back where they belong? Putting my hair clips back in their tin rather than leaving them on the bathroom sink. Putting clothes in the laundry basket (even if they are not mine.) Returning shoes to the closet. If only I could get everyone in the house to live by this rule...

What are you reading, knitting or crafting?
Do you have any rules that help create happiness?


Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along.
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